|Because Croggon is touchy about sharing her covers (and they're not very good anyway), I have provided a pubic domain picture of an ACTUAL crow for your viewing enjoyment.|
Observe that the author spells her first name incorrectly! If someone can't be trusted to spell a simple name like Allison, how can they ever write a decent book?
Croggon can't, which is why I hate precisely 3/4 of everything I've ever read by her. I had very low hopes when I picked up "The Crow". My only consolation was that it was a companion novel to her dreadful series, which meant I didn't have to suffer through the sniveling heroine's inner monologues. So I began to read, for this was in the long-ago days when I had time to read stuff I didn't like. After making it through a rather pretentious textual note and pronunciation guide, then a good poem, I got to the story.
After years of searching, Hem, an orphan, has finally found a home and a family-- only to realize they are less easily kept than he imagined. As the forces of the Dark surround his city, Hem must join in the fight against evil-- but how can a child help? And how far is he willing to go? When a mission goes horribly wrong, Hem must disguise as one of the enemy in order to save his friend. As his journey takes him far from his new home, Hem must come to terms with what he is fighting for-- and whom he is fighting against.
This book is beautiful. Horribly, painfully beautiful. Through the eyes of a young boy, the reader is immersed in a dying world as he tries to save the ones he loves. His journey-- and the reader's-- takes him through marvelous cities, vast wilderness, and into the heart of the resistance against evil itself. Think that sounds familiar? Croggon does it brilliantly. Her powerful, courageous prose and imagery hit like a punch to the gut, and I trust I am not alone in crying at the ending.
So go ahead. Go to your library's website and request The Crow. (You don't have to read the rest of the series to enjoy it!) And while you're waiting, tune back in tomorrow for number nine on my list. I'll give you a hint: it's one of Hannah Williams favorites, and it's set in pseudo-Byzantium.
Oh, and I forgot to remind you that if you comment on any of the top ten posts, you earn an entry for the favorite-book giveaway. Entries are capped at one a post.